Bloomington Music Works opens their season with a trio of short operas under the title "Three for All" at the John Waldron Arts Center. On the program are the dueling divas of Mozart’s "The Impresario," the lovers separated and then united by "The Telephone" of Gian Carlo Menotti and the farce of "The Stoned Guest" by Peter Schichele’s alter ego P.D.Q. Bach. The three varied works make for a nicely pace two hours of musical theatre.
"The Impresario" is Mozart’s one act spoof of the music business in the 18th century. Director Sarah Daughtrey has brought her production up to Hollywood in the 1930s with the Impresario, Rudolf Binspiel, now a casting director for the movies. Herr Bingspiel looks sadly back to glory days in European opera houses while coping with a competition between the vocal aspects of a past diva and the more obvious visual aspects of an up and comer. The arias are potently presented. The humor works and its all accompanied by a nifty nine piece orchestra.
The second of the "Three for All" at the Waldron is "The Telephone" by Gian Carlo Menotti. Menotti’s "Amahl and the Night Visitors" was a television staple for years and it’s a delight to have a chance to sample another of his works. Brian Samarzea directs the two member cast as a young man desperately tries to compete with the telephone for his girl friend’s attention. There’s comic frustration as each time he get down on one knee, either the phone rings or the girl thinks of someone she just has to call. Menotti’s music is a delightful tease as it deftly mixes a sort of dance pastoral with more twentieth century sounds.
Composer Peter Schichele is a regular on WFIU with his Sunday afternoon confection of wit and education, Schichele mix. He’s a serious twentieth century composer, but his greatest successes have come from his spoofs written up as discoveries of works by the least of the Bach family, P.D.Q. Bach. "Three for All" offered P.D.Q.’s
"The Stoned Guest" directed by Janice Hammond. The tale is loosely draped on the framework of Mozart’s "Don Giovanni." Once again we have some good comic fun and a dandy Olympic duel with a pair of divas.
"Three for All" by the Bloomington Music Works at the John Waldron Arts Center plays tonight at eight. It’s a varied evening that offers novice opera goers three short tastes from the genre and seasoned opera goers a chance to see some rarely produced pieces.
There are additional performances on the 9th, 10th and 11th.